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Money saving tips(needed!) whilst at keycamp in the vendee, France.

(16 Posts)
scratchet Fri 03-Jul-09 17:24:50

Hi everyone,

We are off to la garangeoire in august and due to us expecting a new arrival in november we need to save some money!

Has anyone any tips for saving money on this kind of holiday? Travelling will be myself, dh, ds and dd. We are going by car on the dover calais crossing and we are staying in eurodisney for 3 nights on the way home.

Any help greatly appreciated x

Tillyfloss Fri 03-Jul-09 19:12:16


I haven't been to La Garangeoire but have done Keycamp type holiday in Vendee (Jard Sur Mer), South of France (Frejus)& Spain (Cambrils) 4 holidays in total since Sept 2007, as you can tell we LOVE IT!!

If you are driving you have the advantage of taking food, take plenty it is very expensive, we have just returned from Cambrils, Spain and were paying 6 euro for butter, 3 for bread 3 for milk it was outrageous! I know you can't take much fresh but pack up with tins, packets, bottles of juice etc. Of course Beer & Wine are cheap so no need to stash those in your car!!

When you do your shop go to the SuperU (there are dozens of them around the Vendee) but be careful the ones in the big towns like Sables D'Lones are more expensive than the ones in the little places like Trench Sur Mer and Jard Sur Mer (not sure where La Garangeoire is?)

Overall we enjoyed the Vendee but had a bad year for the weather (the worst in 99 years apparantly!) try the local markets but take a phrase book as it is very "local" and our experience was that not many people speak any English at all.

Have a great time I'm sure you will I've hears the site you are going to is fab and the Keycamp caravans are lovely.



scratchet Sun 05-Jul-09 11:59:53

Thanks so much for that. Shame that the beer and wine are cheap as i won't be drinking! Oh well, will have to eat more instead!grin

We are planning to take tins, washing up liquid, tea, coffee, cereal etc. We are hoping to eat out a few evenings but was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of easy meals i can make in the tent.

What other essentials might i need?


northmetking Mon 06-Jul-09 12:06:32

Hi Scratchet,
my favourite "quick" meal is risotto. It's quick (20-30 mins), cheap - basically just rice, stock/wine and whatever you want to chuck in there - it's easy, and the ingredients can all be taken from home. A bag of risotto rice, a couple of onions, a couple of stock cubes and a bit of parmesan, will only cost a couple of quid and will make you 2 or 3 good, healthy, tasty family meals. Just mix it up each time - chuck in some chicken one night, some fresh local veg another, maybe some sun-dried tomatoes, and eat it with some local fresh bread or salad.
Lovely, and it's a one-pot dish, so your only washing up is one pan, wooden spoon, your plates, a chopping board and knife.

PlasticQueen Mon 06-Jul-09 12:10:58

I take ice lolly moulds,sports bottles and crepe pan.

We usually just eat bread, cheese and fruit with the occasional bbq.

Mummyisamonster Tue 07-Jul-09 12:57:19

Scratchet, we're at La Garangeoire in August too smile. We went to France last year too and found food pretty pricey.

This year we're taking our own cereal as for some reason kids' cereal was extortionate to buy there. I'm also taking a bottle of squash to dilute there (again, v. pricey in France).

Does your Keycamp tent have a fridge? Doing a big 'food shop' at a supermarket, rather than buying food at the campsite shop, will save you a lot.

Some of our cheap camping meals are sausages with tomato sauce and pasta, stew (made from tinned stewing steak, tinned spuds and a few veg, all thrown in together, is actually delish) and BBQs.

Hope that helps smile

bigTillyMint Tue 07-Jul-09 13:09:34

Yes cereal is very expensive!
Also definitely take teabags, the ones they sell are dire and expensive!
The big supermarkets aren't too bad and stuff like croissants are cheaper if you buy in bulk! Good cheese is also cheaper!

What about flavoured cous cous plus sliced French sausage, Batchelors noodles (DD's favourite blush, pasta and pesto or other sauce, take curry / other jar sauces that you can cook fresh chicken in. Take tinned chilli beans and buy mince.
Also baked beans / peanut butter if your DC eat them.

kalo12 Tue 07-Jul-09 13:12:27

suntan cream is very expensive in France

Simples Tue 07-Jul-09 13:14:51

Yes take lots and lots of food
try and resist buying croissants...

buy a box of ice creams and hove them in your freezer to stop the kids wantint them at the shop

GrapefruitMoon Wed 08-Jul-09 13:23:10

Lots of things are more expensive in France but it's not just beer and wine that's cheap! Locally produced produce like fruit & veg can be very reasonable - look out for stalls selling by the side of the road. Things like brioche rolls (which my kids love) are cheap at the supermarket. But some local stuff (like Bonne Maman jam) is more expensive than here!

There is a Super-U in the next big town and a Hyper-U in another nearby town. If you are arriving on a Saturday it's worth going to the supermarket on Saturday night or early Sunday morning - many places are shut all-day Sunday or only open in the morning.

I always bring pasta and a jar of sauce - a good quick dinner (can be done in one pot which is handy when camping) and tinned hot-dogs, which make a nice lunch in a baguette.

Bring stuff that you won't use a lot of - like washing up liquid, cooking oil, etc in small containers.

Agree with Simples about the icecream (though I think the cones at La G weren't too pricy)

Yummymum1 Thu 09-Jul-09 19:53:09

Hi guys!
I was very interested to read of your experiences at keycamp in a tent.We have just booked in the vendee for next year.We stayed in a villanova last time in paris and had our own bathroom facilities.Obviously this will be different.What are the communal wash blocks like in general at keycamp?

bigTillyMint Thu 09-Jul-09 21:53:00

I haven't stayed in a Keycamp tent, as we take our own, but you will be using the same facilities as the rest of the campers. IME French toilet / shower blocks are generally kept very clean, usually modern and have constant hot water and powerful showers.

welshdeb Thu 09-Jul-09 22:38:46

Good supermarket in la Mothe Achard (sp) basically if you buy french brands thet are much cheaper than buying imported brands.

I havent stayed in a tent so don't know whet is provided but if you dont hve a fridge it would be worth hiring one as this would allow you to buy meat etc at the supermarket.

If you like your kellogs cereals or tomato ketchup etc take these with you as they will be pricy.

Also there is a market in la Mothe and there are fresh veg, meat and fish on sale.

Fresh croissants from the site shop are quite expensive but you can buy them from the supermarket cheaper.

Yummymum1 Fri 10-Jul-09 13:10:22

Thanks for that.We were very impressed with the keycamp site last time,very clean and well kept so i am sure it will be fine.
There is a proper kitchen in the tent with fridge/freezer and proper cooker!!

serin Fri 10-Jul-09 21:24:28

Take your own table tennis bats and balls, there are always free tables on site and our kids will play for hours, but the equip' costs a fortune to buy over there/rent.

We eat all sorts of rubbish when on holiday that I wouldn't dream of eating at home blush

Tinned curry and long life nan bread.

Nan bread pizza with bottled pasta sauce.

Eggy bread and beans.

Bread and cheese and fruit.

Egg fried rice (with ham/mushrooms/onions/peas)

Salad stuff and fruit is really good value.

Meat/fish/chocolate/cakes and Tampax are much more expensive than here.

Frizbe Fri 10-Jul-09 21:43:10

We did caravaning in france this spring and to be honest I found food prices the same as in the UK at the moment, didn't notice much difference at all shock personally I forgot the silly things like teatowels, washing up sponges, liquid, so don't forget those!

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